Apr 26, 2008

All over the place

Some weeks are better than others, and sometimes you just get lucky a a lot over a short period of time. I think that was the case this past week. Here's a few pix I liked:
I was a chaperone for my daughters trip across to Astoria to watch a play and on the way over I noticed that Lilly Doupe was a little tired on the ride over. This didn't last long as I watched her nod off a little bit and then a couple minutes later she was back playing with her friends in the seat.

I hadn't shot Liga Hispana in a couple weeks and this week it worked out that I could make it over to Atlas' game. I was a little worried about the light situation as it was a 7 pm gametime and last time the light faded quick. But this time I got lucky and the sun set slowly and I was able to shoot the whole first half without the help of the field lamps.

Thursday was an Ilwaco home track meet and most of the time I was there I was looking for unusual stuff.
I think this one also falls under that category.
The last relays — the boys and girls 4x400 — made for the best pix as the sun was starting to go down.
I've often commented on how I wish the athletes at IHS weren't always so low key. Finally during the boys 4x400 I found some nice emotion as the boys were about to win the race.

Lastly, We've been holding a story about a local support group for sufferers of Fibromayalga until I could get pix of one of the women from the group that is a focus of the piece. Shiela Sanderson had been sick with a cold for over a week but last week I was able to visit with her and her husband for awhile. When photographing a story like this about someone with an illness you want to get a pic that shows them in such a way that you can get a sense of what its like for this person to be living with what ails them. This is not the easiest thing with this particular condition, as it is an internal ailment that causes pain throughout the body. However, I think the opportunity presented itself in the case of the two pix below. About once a day Shiela will retire to her bedroom where she has an electric massaging mat set up on her bed and will relax on it. She said that this coupled with her medication can be a very affective way to treat her condition and brings her some peace for a time.
I'm submitting these two pix as I'm not sure which is better — the wider shot or the closer one. I think they both offer important elements — in the wide shot you really get to see her in her home environment, which is important to her, whereas the other gives you kind of the same thing, with the pillows on the bed with her, and also lets you see her face better and the controls for the mat. Ahhh, indecision i know you well!


Apr 22, 2008

Talent show outtakes

People ask or comment sometimes on why it is that some of my more favorite pix from a shoot end up on my blog and not in the paper, and the answer can range from a variety of reasons. Sometimes the pix I like are ones that don't fit the story, or don't help the narrative. Sometimes there just isn't enough space or those particular pix don't fit the layout. Or in some cases I have multiple pix of the same person doing similar stuff and would make for redundancy. (pretty much all these reasons fit this case)

Last week I drove up to the old Raymond theater to photograph the dress rehearsal for the first ever 4-H County Talent Show. It was pretty fun, but once again, I think my favorite pix from the shoot are ending up here (though I do like the ones that are in the paper this week too, just for different reasons.) It wasn't a particularly strong color situation so I decided to show them here in B&W.

For some reason this girl with her guitar made from a couple good pix. She was a little under the weather or something, but she rocked this song that she wrote

This is the only color one I liked, for obvious reasons, as he performed his tricks in these killer green lights. He's like a state champ yo-yoer I guess, might make for a cool story down the road?


Apr 20, 2008

Rusted stuff

For those of you who didn't see the paper last week, here is that feature I mentioned in my last post. This is one — and I rarely do this — where as I was shooting it I actually knew exactly how I wanted the page to look.

I was shooting kind of a run of the mill assignment, getting pix at the demolition of the old Ilwaco Community Building and I ran into Joel Anderson who was there picking up some scrap that had been removed as part of the work. I had met Joel a handful of times before at Ilwaco fire department stuff but never knew that he was the owner of the wrecking yard. He drove this great old 1950 Ford fire truck that he converted into a dump truck and I just immediately saw it as a nice little photo feature on an interesting local character. My boss liked the idea too when I came back with the pix and I think it made for a nice page. It was good that it happened when it did as the other feature I had planned for the Life page didn't pan out. I love it when things actually work out sometimes.


Apr 16, 2008

Having A (track &) Field Day ... sorta

Hey out there,
guess I've fallen behind again on here, but last week started out pretty hard. I was having a hard time figuring out what I was doing and why I wasn't liking anything I shot. I decided it was a lack of variety on my part, not only in what I was doing but also in how I was doing it. It made for me being in a pretty hard mood (sorry for the cold shoulder at the track meet Alex!). I think in the end what I found was that I just needed to do away with the thoughts that I was tied to doing things a certain way and just mentally let go.
Anyway, here's what I came back with. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but I liked how it came out.

First up was the big Daily Astorian (as in our sister paper) Invitational track meet, which featured several schools of various sizes competing against each other regardless of their classification. It was also once again the only time this year that both the schools we cover were at the same meet.
I shoot a lot of track and took a chance on something different. Instead of just focusing on the action/reaction as usual, I approached it as almost like a portrait project. It was frustrating at first, but once I came to grips with what I was looking for it was pretty fun.

Shot put
1,600 meter race
4x100 relay
Girls javelin
Boys pole vault

I'll post another thing I liked from last week that I shot on the fly the other day on here soon.

Apr 3, 2008

Super hero, super game, super light

The last couple days have been pretty busy so I thought I'd post a handful of pix that I liked.

Super Hero Day
Dressed in red long John's, a pink tutu skirt, a red cape and Mickey Mouse ears, fourth grade teacher Joe Doupe' took on the persona of "Math Man" for Super Hero Day at Long Beach Elementary on Wednesday. His motto? — "There isn't a problem I can't solve!"

IHS @ Warrenton Baseball
This was fun game to shoot. IHS was down three runs in the top of seventh (The last inning of a regulation high school game) with two outs, when they went on a hitting spree and scored 6 times. They would end up winning the game 11-9. I noticed that the stands for the football stadium were right behind the baseball field so I took to a higher shooting position, which you don't often get to do at high school games and made for a different look.
Karl Oman made this amazing catch in deep left center. Fans of the other team were even joking out loud about how it should make Sportcenter tonight.
Ouch! Casey Marsh gets nailed by a pitch, but got an RBI for his pain, as the bases were loaded in IHS' big inning.

I noticed that foul balls kept getting hit into this area behind the field where there is all this sand, dirt and other stuff piled up. Of course one unlucky player from Warrenton had to keep chasing them down and getting them back to the umpire.
Each time he came back he had to empty out the dirt and rocks from his shoes.

Liga Hispana futbol
Wednesday night I shot the end of one Liga Hispana match the first half of another. The first game had money light, as the sun was going down. I found a nice spot to lay down behind the goal and got some stuff. For the second game the sun was gone and the lights were on. I took to a high position, but it didn't help much.


Apr 1, 2008

"Relations" recognized

So I found out last week that an online gallery of mine took a third place in the Best of Photojournalism (BOP) contest. This was very cool for me, as I have never placed in any of the larger competitions before (ie: POYi, BOP, World Press), which I've been entering for years. I know third place isn't a big deal to some, but it's nice to have something from our little paper register on the bigger stage.

What I think is kinda funny about this is, I entered this gallery as almost an afterthought. I had worked for WEEKS putting together my entries for the POYi and BOP this year. Scrutinizing, overanalyzing, spending WAY too much late night time on this endeavor. SO when it came time to submit my still photo entries I figured, what the heck, why not enter a couple of my online projects too?

It can definitely give you a little boost if you win and give you a little twinge of self doubt when you don't. None of my stills registered with the judges from either big contest this year, but I'm thrilled with what I got, it's a nice honor. It's especially nice to win in the gallery category, which is all about the images, not audio or other non-photography elements.

You can check out the contest page here, which links to the gallery.

You can also read a little thing about it here, on our Website.

The piece was called Rod Run Relations and was a series of diptych photos that juxtaposed the people at the car show with the cars. It was one of my favorite projects from this past year, though it was harder than I thought it'd be. The Rod Run is one of the events that we cover every year and is a fairly big deal around here and I really wanted to do something different with it this year. We published five of the pix on the Life page and hosted a gallery on our Web site of 10 diptychs. I got a great response from the community and had people coming up to me a saying how much they liked it for weeks ( a greater award any day). Only one person seemed to not like it and let us know by posting a disapproving comment on two different pages on our Web site and in a letter to the editor.

"I really do not like the "pictures''of the Rod Run. There
should be CARS not the backs of little girls & such ... instead there's half pictures
of the chrome on a galaxie 500 & A Hubcap!-only! I know
your out of state customers would have enjoyed seeing some of
these beautiful cars, as well as the rest of us. this is not an art
gallery contest - how about a hometown nerwspaper?! "

I sent her a letter back, explaining why I chose to shoot it this way, but never heard back unfortunately. Funny thing was, about a week later the mom of the girl in the opening pic (top) ordered a large reprint of the diptych, not just the half her daughter was in...